tv Press Here NBC July 3, 2016 9:00am-9:31am PDT
in hot water in order to make you a better cook. >> plus, a new way to reserve a parking space ahead at 9:00. "press: here" is sponsored in part by -- barracuda network. city national bank, helping northern california businesses grow. this week, a ceo puts his business in hot water in order to make you a better cook. technology brings parents closer to their kids' classroom, and a new way to reserve a parking space. our reporter from the tech dog pando and "fortune" magazine's this week on "press: here". good morning, everyone, i'm scott mcgrew. sometimes as you flip around the channels on a sunday morning you'll come across an
infomercial selling some kind of kitchen device. this is not an infomercial, yet we are going to talk about a kitchen device. you may be familiar with it, a very precise heating device that allows you to cook food using hot water. restaurants have been using these for decades. it was born on kick starter, became one of the website's biggest success stories, bringing in more than $2 million, even before it was available for sale. that's where it captured our interest. steve is ceo, joined by sarah lacey. so, you call it the precision cooker, right, not the suv. why did you go with that branding compared to what it is? >> more pronounceable, right? >> yeah, well, it's actually french for under vacuum. it's a bit of a misnomer. the technique is not about cooking under vacuum. it's simply bringing food to a
very precise temperature. because of that we felt that precision cooking was a much more descript term. >> a way of introducing to americans the concept is not as scary as it sounds maybe? intimidating. >> it's sort of misdescribed. it's a bit of a misnomer. precision cooker is a more appropriate name for this. >> all you need is a plastic bag, basically, right? >> that's right, a ziploc bag, put the device in, you're good to go. >> first time i heard about it was on a finale of "top chef" where the chef lost because she cooked with it. >> really? >> she lost because she had never used it before and it didn't turn out well, karla mcdonald, feel the love, so that's always my take with it, if she can't do it, i don't think i could. >> that's surprising, i think.
>> it's heating water. you heat water. >> it's literally just setting the time and the temperature and then it is sort of set it and forget it. >> there's an app, too, right? >> that's right. the app connects to the device, it walks you through sort of like your first cooking experience so you don't mess up, then it allows you cook from anywhere. cook from work, run errands, have total control. >> new, cooler slow cooker? basically? >> i think it's different than that. i think to understand really where it comes from, i think, you need to look at sort of traditional cooking. the traditional oven is off by 40 degrees if it's well calibrated. an oven, your oven is off by 40 degrees, food cooked medium rare may be 130, right, so try and use an oven to hit 130, it's almost impossible. so what the precision cooker
does is applies heat evenly through water circulation and brings food to a precise temperature. that's why people love the device and technique, because it's consistent. you want 130, you get 130. it's very consistent. >> you're not boiling the food. you're using warm or hot water to cook the food, right? >> that's right. >> the steak comes out at a perfect medium rare and you can hold it there for a good long time, as well, right? >> that's right, that's right. >> you broil both sides and have a good morning yous steak. >> exactly right. >> i totally sound like i know it. >> these devices were out there, being able to connect it to the iphone that excited people? >> i think that's part of it, but i think what's going on, there's some broader trend, right, i think shows like "top chef," i think social media, i think millennials want to get into the kitchen and experiment and do great things, so i think there are these big trends driving people in the kitchen.
they have increased expectations now that they never had before. so when i cook, i expect sort of restaurant quality results, and i can't really achieve that with my oven, with my stovetop, or with my grill, because the heat fluctuates, but i know if i use my precision cooker i'm going to get the exact temperature and result i want and makes it easy for me to create restaurant quality results. >> i have personally much lower standards for when i cook. i prefer my fish sticks to be crispy. how did you get into apple stores? only kitchen device, at least the first. >> that's right, we're in apple, target, we'll be in best buy. we're the first sort of device of this category to go sort of nationwide with retail. i think what apple sees is sort of this different kind of technology taking shape in the kitchen, and i think to them it sort of fit with their culture and value, so it really is a
different way to think about cooking. and it's based on sort of science and math, that's why it's connecting. >> i think it's interesting both you're saying it's simple. i've used one before, it is simple. heats the water, put the food in the water, it cooks it, there you go. that's the elevator pitch, right? it's that simple. when you then add in the app, to me it complicates it. if you want to make a steak at what degree water. >> 129. >> does the app in a weird way complicate it? my mom would love it, i don't think she would love the concept she has to use the app. >> sure, so i think it is the type of device where you don't need the iphone. i think for a lot of people it fits their lifestyle. you don't need an iphone to count steps, right, but really your fitbit tracker makes it super easy to do that. there's a certain people that want that connectiveness and
want to know what's going on with their cook, so i think for some people it's very useful. doesn't sound like you -- >> sounds like you're hitting both markets, the target shopper who, obviously, has an iphone, but the target shopper and the apple store shopper, as well. >> right. >> can you talk a little bit about your experience on kick starter and what you observed watching the kick starter phenomen phenomenon? kick starter was nervous about having hardware products like these on its site, it wanted to be more about creativity. on the other hand, said bring all your scams to us, we will not investigate them, nothing. >> is this a question? >> it is, both, little bit of both. you know what you're getting with me by now. why did you go with that one, and in general, the movement has gone from people being excited about these things to being weary. a lot doesn't work when it's
shipped. >> i think you need to look at sort of the people behind the projects. due diligence. it's funny to hear you say indie go go, reminds me of statue of liberty, bring me your scams and fraunds. i think our experience on kick starter is very, very sort of foundational for us. what it did was it confirmed sort of the strategic direction for the company and allowed us to learn and form a community. i think that community helped shape the brand, so i think that more than the capital is what it did for the company. >> one last question, our last question, for other people that do want to sell something on kick starter and do have a legitimate product and are going to ship on time, you are incredibly successful, $2 million? >> yeah. >> what sort of tips would you give the people on kick starter? >> be real. be a real sort of company, be
real with perspective, be genuine with the audience you're connecting with and be truthful. if you don't know how to do something, announce that as a risk. i think being transparent is something that people really want. >> steve, the ceo who likes getting his company in hot water. thanks for being with us. >> cooking the book. up next, a san francisco start-up that's so gently and deliciously bringing parents closer to the classroom. "press: here".
welcome back to "press: here." i want to take you out to room 218 at a san francisco elementary school, where teacher audrey soh is using technology not just to teach her students, but to track them. rewards them with points and badges at a tap of her tablet for good participation, a quick picture sent off to a parent showing what was accomplished that day. this is not an experiment, it is a staggering success. the software she's using has been tried by at least one teacher in two-thirds of the schools in america. all that information is handled here in san francisco at the headquarters of classdojo, one of, if not the fastest, educational software companies in high-tech and the company, as best we can tell, doesn't make a cent. british high school economics
teacher came up with the idea, grabbed his cofounder and the two brexited and ended up in california. let me ask you what you think of the brexit before we get to the rest of it? >> little bit scary, really. a lot of uncertainty just now. feels like we got out just in time. >> i presume, are you still a british subject? >> still british passport, got a green card four months ago. >> entitles you to vote? >> not yet, we can pay taxes, though. >> representation. >> got that from you. >> what do you think, what does this do for entrepreneurs in the uk? would you be leaving now? >> i've got a lot of friends in the uk, and i think their sentiment is like the uk is open for business. i think while there's been a lot in the media about how scary brexit is and the uncertainty, i think not much is going to happen for a little while, a
couple years. even then, if the uk still belongs to the economic area, there's still going to be immigration allowed and that stuff. >> in terms of the start-up scene, is this a huge gift to berlin? berlin was coming on strong to be, arguably, the dominant, if not the co-dominant entrepreneur city in europe. >> i don't know about berlin, but in london there's a strong driving around the silicon round about, so i'm optimistic about the start-up prospect in the uk. >> for britain, came to silicon valley. >> your own personal brexit. >> i knew you were going to make this joke. >> let me ask you, i was surprised, my children are older, so i think those teachers aren't using, i thought that's interesting. the more i looked into it, something like 90% of all school
districts in the united states have at least one teacher, if not many more, using your software. it's much bigger than i had guessed, there's this kind of participation. >> yeah, it's a little bit -- i think we just took a different approach as a company. historically a lot of education companies, if you think of the ones we know about, have built big sales forces which then go to states and districts and lots of marketing everywhere and push the software down from the top, and we took the opposite approach, so when liam and i moved here from the uk, we started by speaking to teachers and just asked them, seem like an obvious thing to do, but in retrospect seems to work out quite well, saying how can we help, what's the most helpful thing we can do for you? teachers told us, help me make my classroom into a team. often i'm isolated, kids and parents and i can't work together very well. help me make this into a community where we can work together better. we tried to build a software to
help with that. when someone comes to you and says how can we help and you try and build a thing that actually helps them, if you do a decent job of it, seems they tell other people about it. >> you don't market to schools? >> for the first few years of the company it was just teachers, one teacher telling another. you'd find one teacher would get ahold of it in the school, use it in their classroom for a semester, then all the other teachers would be like what's the thing you're doing and word would spread. >> what were they finding exciting? seems two pieces, sort of the implementation aspect for the kids which in some ways has been disappointing on the hype, doesn't always work the way people thought it would, but what's appealing to me is the parental involvement aspect. i don't know, i've become such a california parent. i love to get pictures of what my kids are doing at preschool, looking at kindergartens now and the degree to which the teachers are really in constant contact
with the parents is really important to me as a parent. >> i think -- we don't think of it as gaming, we think of it as building a great culture in your classroom, so when you look at how teaching has been for a little while, there are these isolated figures in the classroom, parents turn up once every three months for a parent-teacher conference and the kids are disengaged from what's going on. we kind of took the approach if you can make every classroom into a functional team, a community of teachers, parents, and kids working together, what would that look like, so the first part was the culture of the classroom. great teams, we all work on teams. great teams have a shared culture, so we gave teachers a way to pick the values and skills important for their classroom. things like creativity or teamwork, then to talk about those, send messages about those skills. second part was parents sending pictures and videos home of what's happening through the school day. these are priceless moments of your kids growing up. >> one objection, the old man in
me, but the idea the teacher has an ipad or what not, billy did a good job, susie is being disruptive, negative one, i like that, kids respond to that, pictures of here's what we're doing. the one negative i would think of is the teacher is now heads down, you know what i mean? we all are guilty of hold on just a second. now there's one for the teacher, as well. i better get a picture of this. that's the only negative i can see, the teacher now has this device in his or her hand. >> i think there's a lot of things teachers have already done in the classroom, so the way, as you said, the way to build a culture before is something horrible like sticks and carrots, names on the board and this disruption to actual teaching going on. we're like, you can do away with that and do feedback on your phone. yeah, i hear you on the extending pictures to parents, but also the 15 seconds it takes to send a bunch of pictures
sparks hours of conversation at home, because the conversations change from what happened at school today, the kids say, nothing. >> i have video evidence, something did happen. >> i'll ask my kids a leading question. i saw you sat next to donte at lunch. >> there's a space project you're working on, tell me about that. these are conversations, real parent involvement is when you have this shared context. >> so the obvious question, because it says on your website that it's totally free, so how do you make money? >> again, pretty clear about this from the start, there's been one model in education for a long time, districts are basically having these big sales forces turn up, you should buy this, they spend tens of millions on technology that, frankly, isn't effective for teachers and parents and kids. we thought we'd first build something that was useful for teachers, for classrooms, and then i think there's an avenue to having premium offerings for
schools, for parents. it should always be free. >> give me an example of a premium offer. >> earlier this year actually moved from sort of we had multiple classrooms in every school using classdojo, so we expanded to the principal. we went schoolwide, let principals having the account. the first version is free, but whole bunch of features principals want. >> one concern i have is, well, mr. principal or mrs. principal, if you want to know more about what teachers are doing, give us money. no, i'm the principal, i get it for free. >> yammer and stuff started from the ground up, they wanted more security, more dashboards. >> this is assuming i give them permission at all. >> amazing how much money teachers themselves spend out of their own pockets on classrooms, which i didn't know. >> it's a little bit sad actually. i mean, teachers don't have great salaries, about $500.
>> i've only got a couple seconds, do you fear that school superintendents or school boards who are kind of unaware of what you're doing, and i don't have a problem with what you're doing, i think what you're doing is great, traditionally they meddle. are you afraid that school boards, principals, are going to meddle in where you're in with the teachers at the grassroot level? >> i don't think they meddle. i think everyone kind of wants to do the right things, and what we've seen over the years, bubbles up. we started with one teacher, then started teachers and kids, then parents, now principals. it's bubbling up to superintendents. >> ground swell. >> the key is parents liking it. if parents like it, it's going to have leverage. >> that's all the time we've got. thanks for being with us. up next, an entrepreneur doubles down on park place when "press: here" continues.
welcome back to "press: here." when you make a reservation at a nice san francisco restaurant, say, for 8:00 p.m., you probably should arrive early to find parking, unless, of course, you could somehow reserve the parking space, too. there's an idea. pay by phone, the same company that lets you pay your street parking meter via an app, is moving into reserved parking spots. pay ahead for the giants game, for instance, there is a space
just for you. ceo at pay by phone, a frequent guest with us. let me make it clear off the top of the thing here, we're not talking about street parking. that was a controversial idea. you're talking about parking garages, giants lot. >> exactly, exactly. private parking lots and so forth. >> i pull into space 151, it's there for me, prepaid. >> exactly, exactly. that's how you would reserve. >> other than that it's a great idea. >> definitely want to clarify that. >> what's the breakdown in the city between private parking and public parking? anything that public lots that have spaces reserved for businesses, is that private parking? i park all the time and other than street parking, i'm unaware when i'm parking publicly or privately. >> it varies by city. paris manages 150,000 spaces publicly, and san francisco you
probably have another 50,000 to 75,000 private spaces, so from that perspective, depends on the city. >> i should point out, sorry, i should point out this is a feature coming to your app soon. >> that's correct, that's correct. one of the nice things about pay by phone, with the on street parking we have over 12 million consumers that can start leveraging reservations as soon as it's available. >> sorry, go ahead. >> i was going to ask, is there a database of these private parking spaces or do you have to go piecemeal in each city? >> good question, there are private parking operators that manage off street lot. they are different by country. a lot of times you think about the long tail, mom and pop parking lots. we don't work with them right off the bat, but over time we will. >> san francisco probably, how many major parking companies? >> three or four. >> you can instantly -- >> exactly. >> how will i know and i am
driving around and do not have a reservation, there's a nice spot right there. how do i know it's not for me? >> there's a guy standing there. >> nice thing about private lots is you do have a much tighter view of the inventory. a lot of the lots are gated, so you have controlled access. >> i understand, but say you strike a deal with 5th and mission and i'm driving in the lot, i see a perfectly good space not knowing it's been reserved for sarah lacy. how are you going to say this is not to be parked in? >> in many cases there will be a physical cone there or something. actually, as far as enforcement is concerned, there's actually where you can put a digital lock on your car, so if someone takes a space on your car, you have to call a phone number. >> hopefully clearly marked.
>> very clearly marked. actually, make things much more efficient and, by the way, gets rid of cash payments, which for most you see 20% to 30% shrinkage in the industry, where, you know, the money goes away. >> i don't know if it's open table or somebody else, you pay your dinner bill before you get to the restaurant. >> yeah, yeah. >> i think that's terrific. no more fighting over the bill, no more awkwardness. >> yeah. >> just leave. >> that's exactly right. >> speaking of, i feel parking in san francisco used to be a much bigger problem. at least for me. a lot of times i'll take a lyft to a game. i'm not going to deal with parking at a giants game. there's valet services that are still kind of, i don't know, hanging on by a thread, even though the public parking thing didn't work. what generally is the state of parking, and is it as big a problem as it was a few years ago here?
and in other cities like memphis, tennessee, is it a problem at all? are there only certain cities this is relevant? >> comes down to the cities much more densely populated. comes down to density. if you take houston or dallas that are very spread out, cost to park is 25 cents an hour, so there's not a big need to have a pay by phone service, although it's very, very convenient for the consumer and we service cities like dallas. but london, paris, san francisco, boston, these are the cities you really get the true value. >> there are times i feel i have parked in houston or dallas to get to the san francisco events i want to go. >> right, right, exactly. >> pay by phone is a cool app now, will be an even cooler app in a couple of months with reservation services. thanks. >> thank you very much. >> "press: here" will be back.
that's our show for this week. thanks to my guests. steve is ceo in hot water, sam of classdojo, and kush of pay by phone. as always, interviews are available online and itunes as a video podcast. i'm scott mcgrew, thank you for making us part of your sunday morning. "press: here" is sponsored in part by -- barracuda networks, cloud-connected security and storage solutions that simplify i.t. city national bank, helping northern california businesses grow.
"comunidad del valle." i'm damian trujillo, and today we're dedicating our show to the memory of helen chavez, the wife of the late civil rights leader, cesar chavez. she passed away this past week, so our show is dedicated to her memory. plus also on our show sabor del valle returns to your "comunidad del valle." male announcer: nbc bay area presents, "comunidad del valle" with damian trujillo. damian: now we should point out that helen chavez never granted an interview to reporters, maybe once or twice during this entire time. we were lucky enough here at nbc bay area that she granted us an interview back in 2002 during the unveiling of the cesar chavez stamp, and so here is our story. [crowd chanting] damian: civil rights historians have compared him to gandhi, martin luther king jr., and mother teresa, fighting his entire adult life for social justice.